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Jimi Hendrix

Perhaps the most irresistibly magnetic and natural performer in musical history, Jimi Hendrix was also a studio visionary who expanded rock’s horizons, then departed – leaving a tangled posthumous legacy in his wake. Owen Bailey says: ’Scuse me while I list this guy…


Jimi Hendrix’s untimely death in September 1970, aged 27, left the world of music with just three off cial studio albums. Yet work was well underway on the fourth; a planned double or even triple LP. Hours, days, weeks and months of tape had rolled on by as Jimi – by turns seemingly inspired and indecisive – explored new sonic territory in his purpose-built studio and elsewhere, jamming with a revolving-door entourage of cohorts.

Not only that, but near-constant touring and the shortlived reworks display that was the Band Of Gypsys project had amassed a catalogue of off en mesmerising performances – an estimated 1,500 hours’ worth of recordings. When Jimi died, a void opened up… and some of this material was dusted off to fill it, while some was temporarily lost or squirrelled away.

For Hendrix’s fans, both then and now, what happened next was at best confusing, as legitimate and bootleg material was released to quench the thirst. Many revealed genuine insights; some infamously second-guessed the man’s creative wishes, attempting to finish off Jimi’s mythical next album by adulterating the demos and presenting them as a genuine coda to his brief career.

Ultimately, though – once the Hendrix catalogue changed hands in 1995 and was commandeered by his father and half-sister Janey – his legacy, under their watchful eyes and those of producer Eddie Kramer and researcher John McDermott, could finally flourish. Our chronology aims to cover as much ground as possible for the vinyl lover who wants to hear Hendrix’s music evolve before their ears. Hence there are no pre-Experience inclusions, though they’re a compelling piece of the jigsaw; and due to the infernally complicated nature of the many posthumous releases across different territories and labels (and in different mixes), coupled with the difficulty of stating which of the many versions of his canonical releases are definitive rarities, we’ve stuck to including albums only, and their latest UK pressings, unless otherwise stated.


(1967, TRACK)

On his thrilling debut, Hendrix filtered psychedelic blues-rock, R&B and more through his Strat, Marshalls, modded effects and studio tech to expand music’s horizons – and send guitar gods Pete Townshend and Eric Clapton scurrying for cover. Though the UK version omitted the band’s first three singles, everything here, under the auspices of Chas Chandler, explodes with power and creativity – one of the great debuts.

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About Long Live Vinyl

Issue 19 of Long Live Vinyl is now on sale. 50 years on from the release of Jimi Hendrix’s career masterpiece, Electric Ladyland, we speak to some of the key figures in the making of the album, flick through Jimi’s entire record collection and round up 20 essential Hendrix releases on vinyl that no true fan should be without. Elsewhere this issue, we get the inside track on Spiritualized‘s first new album in six years from Jason Pierce and meet Anna Calvi to hear how she made her boldest and most articulate record to date, the outstanding The Hunter. We also reflect on a trio of 50th anniversaries, as Wayne Kramer tells Long Live Vinyl about half a century in the MC5 and we take in-depth looks at Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks and The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society – the latest in BMG’s Art Of The Album series. Echo & The Bunnymen guitarist Will Sergeant gives us a private tour of his record collection, The Trip heads to the East Midlands to visit the record shops of Nottingham, and we meet the team behind Eel Pie Records in Twickenham. If all that’s not enough, we bring you the most extensive range of new album, reissue, turntable and accessory reviews, plus expert buying advice, anywhere on the newsstand.